Today I was walking home from a rousing game of Rummikub with some friends. I mentioned that my phone was at critbatts, a strange shortened version of slang that Todd and I use, which means "critical batteries". To give credit where it's due, our good friend Elliot actually invented that particular phrase. Until that, we'd only used maxbatts, modbatts, minbatts, and nilbatts.
Anyway, after explaining what critbatts meant, I told my friends about a time in Thailand when Todd was running out of Thai money, Baht, and declared that he was at critbahts. We got a good chuckle out of it since critbatts had since become nearly an everyday word, especially given our use of GPS and such on our phones.
I then remarked that to hit critbahts is difficult, because the money is worth so little - less than monopoly, I joked - that it was almost impossible to run out. Wait a minute.. maybe that's not a joke. Maybe Baht really are worth less than Monopoly money. Math followed shortly after.
A monopoly set costs $11.50 on Amazon. It comes with $15,140. This is only a one way transition, of course, because you can convert foreign money into dollars and buy monopoly. Selling your monopoly money (and the set it came with) would probably net you less than $11.50.
So for a one way conversion, every dollar spent on a Monopoly game gets you $1316 in Monopoly money. As it turns out, there are nineteen countries with worse exchange rates.
Lebanon: 1504.22 LBP per USD
Tanzania: 1504.22 TZS per USD
Uzbekistan: 1640.15 UZS per USD
Colombia: 1923.90 COP per USD
North Korea: 2050 KPW per USD
Madagascar: 2120 MGA per USD
Uganda: 2308.28 UGX per USD
Belarus: 2999.14 BYR per USD
Cambodia: 4037.85 KHR per USD
Sierra Leone: 4120 SLL per USD
Paraguay: 4642.55 PYG per USD
Zambia: 4797.51 ZMK per USD
Guinea: 6925 GNF per USD
Laos 8051.30 LAK per USD
Indonesia: 9009.01 IDR per USD
Iran: 10,349.59 IRR per USD
Sao Tome and Principe: 18,260 STD per USD
Vietnam: 19,487.70 VND per USD
And topping off the list, you'd need 33,300 Somalian Shillings per USD. That means that monopoly money is a full 25 times more valuable than Somalian money.
Not the most useful information, but an interesting little tidbit to keep in mind next time someone likens something to Monopoly money.
On a side note, I've been to a bunch of the places on this list, including number two, Vietnam. Even though you know the conversion rate, it's a bit terrifying handing over half a million for lunch. You do the math several times to make sure you're not missing a decimal place somewhere.
I think I might know what drugs are like: motorcycles. I rode one once and was blown away at how fun it was. Then I got my license, knowing I'd never buy a bike. Then today I rode my friend's 1000cc bike and couldn't stop laughing the whole time.
Heading back to San Francisco tomorrow by RV!
When you're on the road for this long you get good at rationing. In our case, that applies to batteries and to food. I just last week ate a vegan food bar that I bought in LA in the beginning of March.
We don't plan far ahead, so we never know exactly when we'll be able to buy acceptable food. Batteries are the same way. We're on a 32 hour train ride that spans two nights from Saigon in South Vietnam to Hanoi in North Vietnam.
It's the second night now, so it's time to burn off my batteries which I haven't really used much of yet.
Edit: I gave up on financial goals in late 2011 after some huge financial and artistic wins... money shouldn't be taken too seriously. For the record, they were all basically on track, some were being massively exceeded, others were a bit behind schedule, but were all happening.
I set my next 10 years of financial goals on June 28th. That was exactly a month ago.
1 year - Critical Thinking [my first book] out. Blog income trickling. Some info products. Some freelancing. Something else, some X-Factor thing bringing in cash. Net monthly income positive. Health insurance. $50,000 in the bank. Expenses = income per month minimum.
3 years - 3 to 5 books out, many products out, blog income robust, some working on big exciting deals. $10,000 per month total, $5000 passive at least. First property owned. $300,000 in the bank.
5 years - 7-10 books out, many many products out, many passive income internet properties, working on big exciting things, $50,000 per month total, $40,000 passive at least. $1,000,000 in the bank.